The Old Guard 2: possible release date, cast and plot for Netflix superhero sequel
Netflix’s Charlize Theron action movie has been a hit with viewers – but will there be a follow-up?
After launching on Netflix in summer 2020, The Old Guard proved to be one of the streamer's most successful films ever – gaining impressive reviews and bagging a place inside the platform's top 10 most watched films ever.
With that success in mind, it didn't take long for there to be talk of a sequel – and reports began to circulate at the start of this year that the team would be returning for another outing.
The speculation has now been confirmed, with Victoria Mahoney set to replace Gina Prince-Bythewood as director for the follow-up. Read on for everything we know so far about The Old Guard sequel.
The Old Guard 2 release date
It was confirmed in August 2021 that Netflix is definitely moving ahead with a sequel – with the streamer announcing the news on Twitter and also revealing that Victoria Mahoney would be taking over from Gina Prince-Bythewood as director.
Before the official confirmation, talk of a follow-up was already getting a lot of traction – with reports circulating since as early as January 2021 that a sequel had been green-lit. And in July, star Charlize Theron revealed that the script for The Old Guard 2 was already finished and that filming will begin in the first quarter of next year.
Those filming dates means we're probably unlikely to see The Old Guard 2 until the start of 2023 at the earliest – but should anything change, we'll keep you updated on this page.
Prince-Bythewood previously told RadioTimes.com that she wanted a follow-up, saying "If the story continues it's absolutely up to an audience," and adding that screenwriter Greg Rucka (who also wrote the graphic novel The Old Guard is based on) has plenty of ideas.
"I know that Greg Rucka has always envisioned his story, when it was a graphic novel, as a trilogy, and actually the second part of his comic book just came out. So I know where the story goes, and it's pretty great. So if an audience wants it, there's absolutely more story to tell."
After the news of the sequel was announced, Prince-Bythewood explained that she had made the decision not to stay on as director this time around.
"I love The Old Guard and the story and characters I was honored to put into the world. It was exciting to disrupt the genre," she wrote on Twitter.
"I have decided not to direct the sequel, but will stay on as a producer. I leave our franchise in good hands as my girl Vic Mahoney takes on this next chapter of Nile and Joe and Nicky and Booker and Quynh and Andy, scripted by the beautiful mind of Greg Rucka."
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The Old Guard 2 cast
It looks like there will be a lot of familiar faces in the sequel, with Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, Veronica Ngo and Chiwetel Ejiofor all in line to reprise their roles.
Ejiofor, who plays James Copley, had previously explained to RadioTimes.com that he would be up for a second outing, explaining, "I mean I definitely think there's potential for that, because the central characters and central idea are so fascinating, and can occupy all sorts of different times and periods and ideas."
He added, "So I think it lends itself to that in that way, and I think that these characters are really interesting. And I think that there's more story to tell in terms of their narrative. There's a lot more to explore.
"And I think philosophically there's more to explore about this psychology, and what the nature of immortality is, and how that reflects on what one's relationship is to being alive. There's a lot to look at really."
And his co-star Marwan Kenzari, who plays Joe, added, "The Old Guard has a lot to offer. So I would be happy to be part of the second one - most definitely. That would be a no-brainer for me. It's a fantastic world, and there's a lot to explore."
The Old Guard 2 plot
No official plot information has come to light at this early stage, but we can certainly engage in a bit of speculation based on what happened during the first movie and the events of the graphic novel.
The first film does a certain amount to set up a sequel, with long-missing immortal Quynh (Veronica Ngo) reappearing after being lost to Andy (Theron) centuries before (for more detail on this, see our Old Guard ending explained feature).
However, after years of being drowned over and over again at the bottom of the ocean, it may be that Quynh (who appears in the film’s last scene to unite with Matthias Schoenaerts’ disgraced team member Booker) isn’t quite as friendly or stable as she once was…
"There’s obviously a relationship there (between Van Veronica Ngo’s Quynh and Theron’s Andy) that we didn’t really explore in this film," Theron said on Late Night With Seth Meyers.
“So I’m excited if we get the chance to make another one, to explore that, because then we’re just adding another female into the mix, which I think will make it really interesting.
"The character of Quynh is kind of teased in this. She’s Andy’s kind of right-hand person. She was, the two of them, were the first. There’s obviously a relationship there that we didn’t really explore in this film."
"Quynh has reared her head and that causes some issues, absolutely," director Prince-Bythewood told RadioTimes.com – though she wouldn’t be drawn on many plot points, instead directing fans to the source material.
"I would just base it on the graphic novel - because again, we have to see if an audience wants it, and then something will be written," she said.
"In the graphic novel there's a very grounded story tackling a problem within the world, which again brings more villains that are not with the conceit of immortality. So there's actually a really cool balance between those two."
Screenwriter Rucka, meanwhile, said he'd "be looking to the heart and soul of [upcoming comic book sequel] Force Multiplied" as the source for the next film's plot.
"It is much more about the characters internalised, really, and about the conflicts," he said.
"It opens up questions about the mythology that in the initial story I didn't want to be bothered with, and that in a second story it felt like, 'Yeah, we have to start addressing it'."
Prince-Bythwood also give a hint that a sequel could pick up on the historical romance between Joe (Kenzari) and Nicky (Luca Marinelli), which was cut from the first movie.
"In the graphic novel, I have to say [I love] how Joe and Nicky met," she said. "We talk about it in the film, but in the graphic novel you actually see it, and it was in one of Greg's earlier drafts. The film was feeling so full we just had to cut it.
"But that is a pretty incredible sequence of those two in the Crusades. And they keep killing each other and coming back to life as everyone around them is dying and staying dead. And that final moment after the third or fourth time that they've killed each other, they just look at each other and they know that they've met their soulmate.
"It's pretty great," she added. "And I hope that if there's a sequel, that gets to be illustrated."
When an official synopsis is released, we'll post that here.